The cards are face down. Summer Correspondence (2nd installment)

Dear Barbara:

How are you? I’m writing to you a few hours before I close the apartment for the holidays; I just got on the phone with my mother, who, saying goodbye, recommended that I clean the house before leaving. You’re right, and that’s probably why this comment annoyed me. it seemed like a lot Baba Yaga gave the egg, at least, from the first part of Ugresik’s novel, which I read, as you know, because you wrote that it was the thing you laughed with the most. You were referring to the second part, in which Ugresik takes three old women, two old women and a very old woman to a spa. It’s true that everything is hilarious. them, their concerns, their lives, the bizarre plot, how it’s told, other things that are happening that sometimes seem top secret With nothing to lose: The character who dies of suffocation on a golf ball, even though they say it’s a heart attack. I found myself searching the internet for “vaginal cramps” to see what I was thinking.

But a conversation with my mother on the phone reminded me of the first part of the book: Ugresik is taking care of his sick mother, who forgets words but retains her passion for cleanliness and before going on the road Continues to apply her lipstick. She is not at all like my mother, who is closer to Dubravka than her own mother, but there is something in a mother-daughter relationship that is always the same, I think it’s all the conversations that a mother And the daughter follows a pattern set in at some point that is really hard to escape.

There is an interesting third part in Ugresik’s novel that should be read diagonally.

What do you remember most from that novel?


Dear Aloma:

I really like the three-part division of the book, how it addresses the same topic from three different perspectives, giving three different treatments. And at the same time, of course, unmistakable traits are always traced, which can only belong to him. I like many things in the novel or in the book, because the novel-the novel is the central part for me, the most imaginative, which made me laugh a lot. For example, even with some novels I’ve laughed like this two very serious womenby Jane Bowles, with combination of seciuos with and my uncle oswaldby Roald Dahl.

But baba yaga: Don’t you think the central part would be an amazing film? Superficially, Wes Anderson could very well have shot this, given the hotel atmosphere and series of quirky characters. Plus it has a depth of a class that is very difficult to shoot. In short, how absurd it is to say what could have been when this is already a wonderful novel.

The poor masseur is a character I like, and the solution to his problem is what determines his life to the extent that he has to work as a pseudo-masseur because in other professions they don’t let you wear loose clothes like that There are pants, sounds like the resolution of a fable. That is, the theme of folklore, which is openly introduced in the three sections of the book, has entered everything and on different levels, because, for example, formally they are the closing chapters, somewhat apologetic. With verses that prepare for the continuation of .History.

All three women must also have their legendary correspondence. What is wonderful is how it is possible to trace those counterparts and at the same time follow the cycles of history: it is all symbol and flesh at the same time. A friend told me she was very moved when I just read the book sawexperienced visions of An egg, which certainly made me think of the egg I see in the novel, and better understand the need for symbols that folkloric traditions handle.

I write and write and I notice that I can’t figure out what I want to say like a mocking ghost. It’s something about a constant exchange between two worlds. We write from here and it causes something there, which in turn demands to be registered on this side, and so on for centuries. I think Ugrešić has managed to make that link visible. It’s great to study folkloric traditions academically, but the best thing to do is to really engage in what it’s done. Or sing songs to a child until he falls asleep: this is the best way.

And this brings us back to mothers. I’m not quite sure that imposing a pattern in conversation occurs only in the case of mothers and daughters, but I’ll return to that in the next letter, as I now wish to name mine. What great advice to pack up and leave the house!



hello, hello, dear friend:

I also thought all the time that this would be a good movie, it’s true that Wes Anderson would do something interesting, Saoirse Ronan would be the savior of the masseur, right? The father could be Tom Hanks. And at the same time, I think there will be some shortcomings. When I was with Gospodinov in Madrid, I asked him about Dubravka and he told me that they talked a lot by email. His mother was Bulgarian, as she states in the first part of the book, which is not yet a novel. He also told me they shared an agent and I told him your phrase about him: very angry but very funny. He agreed.

I love how the plot of the novel gets bogged down in the ridiculous, the absurd or the insane. I like that he talks about older women’s bodies, someone’s huge breasts for example. And the rhymes give it a very fun fabulous air.

I also find the first part funny, but perhaps more along the lines of angst: the laugh almost always comes from imagining Dubravka with the student she can’t stand because he’s a little pedantic bluestocking with whom she’s being mean to her mother. Rahi shares the journey.

Reading the third part, which is a study and interpretation of the folklore of the previous parts in the form of stories playing with folkloric symbols, I wondered what Dubravka wanted to do. I thought it was a joke, a big joke that these stories from a novelist who hated folklore were interpreted by a student in folklore she hated. But I also thought that it talks about the distortion and stylization of reality in writing, and that in the end, everything can fit into patterns.

In i will remember for youlet’s talk about juan forn foxhave you read it? It seems that a reader of Ugresik left him a cabin as an inheritance.

a kiss,

Dear Aloma:

I have neither read any of Juan Forn’s books nor fox, But now I’m taking a look at them and I really want to start reading and writing. Your explanation of the third part surprises me and I find it interesting. I mean jokingly. Of course this is a continuation of the spa story in other ways, so it could also be a rehearsal of a continuation of the joke in another tone. I don’t remember exactly when, when I read that part, I felt like mocking the over-interpretation of popular by top academics, but of course it can be easy to create confusion about departments. fun.

I remember more clearly that the schoolgirl, who appears in the first part as a precocious young woman who doesn’t realize that the narrator already has enough problems with a mother who is losing her mind, Here she finally appears as a clear mind and a new version of the world, which demands the same attention as the mother in the beginning. His blueprint for interpreting the world is like a 180º dementia of the mother. One who interprets it too much and one who thinks it is just a show. We are with the narrator, overwhelmed by the two contradictions that haunt him, but are also able to tell us that the world, with its madness, pulls us by the sleeve and does not allow us to move forward with it. Whether we continue with our work or whether we pay attention to others determines everything.

young lady dedicated to folklore studying something very old is not performed, but is defined by being something that is transmitted), and it is as if she is playing a role that the narrator (claimed the mother) has left blank. It sounds like a witness race to me now. When we are young we may devote ourselves to speculating about time and everything, but then it speeds up and the important thing is to find someone who knows more about the world. Let us take charge of what we have understood. Whosoever it may be. Young Dough. the world provides.

Perhaps the association of the popular with the unwritten lends itself to the humorousness of the whole book, and especially the last part: How are you going to sift through all that wisdom based on rhetoric? But at the same time it is the way the young woman has discovered to tell the narrator that he has chosen her as a mother, a way of direct transmission. Now I think the book talks about how women connect with each other. What are you doing?



Dear Barbara:

Note that I thought the student on the trip was sort of a mother substitute and I didn’t realize that this made the narrator a mother, and it’s pretty obvious: even their relationship is very much like mother-daughter!

Anyway, my pot is in front of me right now, we have the coffee pot on a plate on the stove that she can’t hold. I have already told you that everything is pattern…



,Baba Yaga gave the eggDubravka by Ugrešić, with translations by Luisa Fernanda Garrido and Thomas Pistelek, is part of the Ugrešić library of editorial impedimenta.

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